Sunday, December 19, 2010

"And a Merry bloomin' Christmas to you too!"

So says Raymond Brigg's Father Christmas. I, as I may have already mentioned LOVE Christmas, no humbugs here! And the hero of the day (minus, OF COURSE, the dear baby Jesus) is the man in red... or so I always thought. How wrong I was. I have read a number of natural parenting bloggers bemoaning Satan, (sorry, slip of the keyboard!), Santa, of late. Bla, bla indoctrination with commercialism, lying to children, yada yada.
Stop the lights people! I have yet to meet a child traumatised by finding out Santa doesn't exist. Santa is about fun, magic, mystery... no? I'm not saying you have to pay over-inflated prices to go and sit on some dodgy old man's knee in a shopping centre and receive some trashy toy. I'm not saying threaten your children all year about being good. I'm not even saying to over-indulge your children with enormous gifts. I'm just saying that perhaps helping to cultivate magic and mystery in your child's life is not such a bad thing. If you object to the lying thing, then, go the whole hog, throw out fairies, elves, gnomes, angels, dragons, unicorns, because they don't exist either. Just in case one day your poor child will discover that they aren't true, and that you, evil parent, were just lying to them every time you read them a bedtime story.

No, my issue with Santa is that he is a MAN. Seeing as in most of the households I know its women who: buy the presents, write the Christmas cards, decorate the house, cook dinner, make the Christmas play costumes...who do about 95% of the work of Christmas, then why is it some fat old codger that gets all the credit? Now if you want to get het up about something this festive season, get het up about that. That's the Santa issue!


  1. This year the Santa in Tesco, Midleton is a charity fundraiser for the Street Children of Calcutta, We got our photo taken next to the big tree as we couldn't fit with the photographer in the hut! You don't have to go all commercial, most kids love arts, crafts, board games and books. As for the trauma of the announcement you absolutely never have to.... they figure it out and go along with it for the younger ones. Our 14 year old plays along with gusto, and it keeps Christmas exciting for her too. She wakes first and Daddy gets the camcorder, then we all tip toe downstairs shaking with expectation, cold and sleep, we open the sitting-room door and peep inside...." he's been, Santa has been!", the screams, the oohs and ahs, Trembling hands struggle with wrapping, Mummy's nimble fingers release toys from their plastic stranglehold, baby dolls tenderly cuddled, musical instruments, plucked, banged and shaken for the first time....perhaps even a chorus or two of jinglebells! Its a little bit of magic in an all too real world. Childhood is too short, families have long tried to break the cold expanse of winter with a sprinkling of joy near the winter solstice. Across cultures and religions the need to pause near December 25th, to offer loved ones a special greeting, to mark the shortest day in human celebration, with song, decoration, feast and gift-giving is as old as humanity itself. To those who complain that the occasion has been commercialised, engage your imagination and creativity to de-commercialise it in your own life and leave others to their own festivities. For myself I crave spirituality which will be answered in the attendance with my community at my local church ritual, for you spirituality may be something entirely different. I pray constantly for those in need, in suffering, in despair, on Christmas day I gather with my community to share that prayer, to comfort those gathered and to send that love far beyond our own space and out to those in particular need. As for the plus-size dude in the red hat getting all the credit despite women doing all the darling husband did all the work in that regard this year, and my brother-in-law cooks dinner every year...with his wife's help! Perhaps this is unusual, but it certainly works for us!
    Christmas is whatever you wish it to be, start your own tradition, lighten up, dare to dream....take time to re-charge your own battteries if nothing else.
    Wishing you all a joyful Holiday season!

  2. I'm totally with you! I wrote about that last week on my blog . . . I understand what the Natural Parenting community is buzzing on about (commercialization, being honest with our children, etc etc)

    But children have imaginations for a REASON. To just deny them Santa because of how WE feel about him is a shame. I'm with you - Santa is about magic and love, and the preciousness of giving. If you approach him in a simple way, highlighting the magic and meaning of Christmas, and refrain from using him as a discipline tool, you don't have to worry about any of the craziness of negative imprinting our friends are so worried about.

    Have a very Merry Santa-Jesus-riffic Christmas!

  3. Life for children should be all about imagination,fantasy and fun. How can they learn to create new lives and futures if not for the chance to believe that magic exists? My favorite movie of all time for my children was the Never-ending Story. Where life would cease to exist as we know it, if not for the belief in magic!
    I for one have gone around the bush surrounding me ( I live in Australia)picking up a cup of kangaroo poo to drop on the lawn around the carrot s that the grandchildren are going to leave out for the reindeer! They never need to know! Merry Xmas!



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